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Zotero: Creating Bibliographies and Writing your Paper

Add Bibliography


Zotero offers word processing plugins for Word and OpenOffice. The plugin adds a Zotero toolbar to your word processor that allows you to add citations to your document while you write.

To add a citation, click the first button ("Add/Edit Citation") on the toolbar. Search for the reference you want to cite and press Enter. Zotero will add the citation at your cursor.

At the end of your paper, click the "Insert Bibliography" button. Your bibliography will appear, and new citations will be added automatically. Change bibliographic styles with the "Document Preferences" button.

The toolbar looks different on different operating systems and versions of Word. Mousing over the toolbar will pop up each button's function if they're not clearly labeled.


It's easy to create a bibliography from your Zotero library.

Select the references or collections you want to include. Hold the control key and click to select multiple items. Right-click one of the selected items and choose Create Bibliography.

Choose the bibliographic style you want, select Copy to Clipboard, click OK and paste into your word processor.

This method works with any word processor (or anywhere you can paste text).

Edit Citations

Removing field codes

Removing field codes should only be done when you are ready to finish and/or

submit your document.

It is an irreversible process.  You should save a back-up copy of your

document in case you do need to make changes.When you are ready, click unlink citations 


Zotero with GoogleDocs

Zotero works with Google Docs! You must have the Zotero Connector installed in Chrome, Firefox or Safari.

Instead of a toolbar with buttons, as in the Word screenshot above, look for the Zotero menu in your Google Docs editor.

Screenshot of Zotero menu in Google Docs

Choosing your referencing style

When you first add a citation, Zotero will ask you to select your referencing style. You can choose from the default list, along with any other styles you've installed, in a pop up window.

To change the citation style, click on Document Preferences to select a citation style

  • Where a footnote citation system is used, Zotero will create the footnotes at the bottom of the page. It is easy to change between in-text and footnote styles. 

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